When the Cowboys announced their roster cuts on Saturday, waiving veterans Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner and decided to keep David Buehler and Dan Bailey, it was rather obvious what their intentions would be to start the season.
On Monday, head coach Jason Garrett at least confirmed that notion, saying the Cowboys would likely prepare for Sunday's game with the Jets with Bailey handling the field goals and extra points and Buehler to be primarily a kick-off specialist.
It did sound like Buehler might get the chance for longer field goals considering his stronger leg. The Cowboys are counting on that leg to provide many touchbacks this year, especially with the NFL rule change to move the kickoff line up to the 35. Buehler led the NFL in touchbacks in 2009 as a rookie and has been one of the league's best in that area in the past two years.
Bailey, a rookie from Oklahoma State, made both field goal attempts during the preseason.
Garrett was hesitant to reveal the Cowboys' plans at kicker this week, but was complimentary of both.
"We feel like David Buehler has been a very good kicker for us as a kickoff guy and he's made some big kicks for us throughout his career here. We feel very good about Dan Bailey and what he's done in camp and the preseason opportunities that he's gotten. We decided to keep both of those guys and we'll give them chances to kick in games doing the things we think does best."
But like the overall nature of the position, things can always change at kicker. If the Cowboys decide they need to keep another player active, it's likely that only Buehler or Bailey will be active for the game. That's why both players will likely practice doing both kickoffs and field goals this week.
As a rookie in 2009, Buehler was the kickoff specialist when Nick Folk was the place-kicker, but Buehler was also used on punt coverage and return and kickoff return. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said Buehler might work back into that but it will take a few weeks since he hasn't practiced there in nearly two years.